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mathewbaich

Miniature Painting secrets with Natalya Melnik

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ok, here's a review for anyone interested in natalya melnik's DVD set.

 

initial thoughts: wow lots of DVDs! there must be lots of info on these! well we'll see when we watch. I whole mini from start to finish recorded, interesting! 15 hours of info! still have me interested! lets bust the shrink wrap and get started!

 

initial quality: great quality! great timing on the translations! and awesome music!

 

after 2 hours of watching and random skipping around: mmm...not really getting much out of this, she states what she uses like countless "other" tutorials but gives no reason as to 'why' she uses what she uses. she stated that she uses milliput to "smooth out the surface of the mini" not too much good info so far unless you're a painter that uses verbatim recipes.

 

after watching the whole thing: not very impressed...she doesn't really 'teach' much other than "this is how I paint, watch me do it". I honestly had to speed up the "paint a whole mini on this DVD set" as it was a total snooze fest. I even had to speed up the already sped up footage to not fall asleep.

 

final thoughts: I didn't really get much out of this DVD set and I'm kinda disappointed honestly. sure there's 5 DVDs but a good chunk is taken up with the paint-a-mini thing. maybe it's just because I've seen just about every tutorial and trick in this hobby but I didn't gain much from it. I'd recommend this set for anyone that can learn from pure observation with no actual teaching involved. sorry if this seems harsh but that's how I feel. enjoy for those that can.

 

~Mathew Baich~

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Thanks Mathew!

I've been wondering about that "set" since I saw it advertised on CMON. I'm a big fan of the latest DVDs from Miniature Mentor and was about to test this set.

Is there a running commentary while the paint-a-mini demo is running? or is it just nice music as the camera follows her paint?

Of the 5 DVDs, how many are devoted to just the paint-a-mini?

What is the rest of the time devoted to?

She does amazing freehand, does she go into how she paints those?

Thanks

AWhang

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Thanks for the review on this set. It's very helpful to see opinions like these when deciding whether or not to buy something like this!

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@awong: the last two DVDs are devoted to painting an entire mini, no commentary, just her, a paint brush and some elevator music. the rest of the DVDs are devoted to the classic techniques (Painting hair, painting NMM, etc.) she says she uses this color and this color for highlights and this one for shadows, etc. she goes into a little bit of a breakdown when she discusses NMM but not too much. with freehand she says "I usually start with practicing the design on paper a few times and then try on the miniature"

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I tend to learn by watching, so this might be a good vid for me...although I do require some explanation into the thought process...That is what I loved about JBT's dvds, he showed the how and explained the why. I guess if you are going to watch someone paint for 20 something hours Natalya would be a good choice lol.

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jeremie's DVD set is by far my favorite! he gave an explanation as to why and lets you go find your own colors to use. instead of saying "exact paint name" he says a warm or cold brown/red/etc to help you figure stuff out yourself.

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Yeah, it is funny, after watching Jeremie's dvds my scores on CMON went from the mid 6's to low 7's almost overnight...I learned so much useful stuff from them.

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jeremie's DVD set is by far my favorite! he gave an explanation as to why and lets you go find your own colors to use. instead of saying "exact paint name" he says a warm or cold brown/red/etc to help you figure stuff out yourself.

 

 

Oh, that is much more my style. Also, Jeremie is awesome. Maybe I would try out his DVDs sometime.

 

Mind, I learned to paint using Brushthralls tutorials, and Todd Arrington will tell you both the type of color he's using and the reason behind it. Overall, I'm still more likely to search the internet if I want someone to explain to me a technique. And in that case, I can usually find three of four, and I can get what I need by synthesizing the information from all of them.

 

 

Do the DVDs have a big advantage over searching the internet for advice?

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Do the DVDs have a big advantage over searching the internet for advice?

I would say you can get information out of a video that just isn't as helpful when only in writing with perhaps a few still images. I really like LJ's Hot Lead DVD's & have learned a lot from watching them depite previously having spent MANY more hours than I'd care to admit poring over online tut's and articles. The few sample clips from JBT's vids I've seen on YouTube looked quite good too & surely would be much better still on an actual DVD than seeing them small and all choppy due to my sometimes dodgy internet connection at home...

 

But I still browse through just as much stuff online as always, looking for new tips and tricks and cool pictures of minis... I wouldn't say the various DVD sets would act as a replacement for that, but they can definitely be a very valuable supplement IMO.

 

It would be great to hear from someone on this thread who had a more positive experience with Natalya's DVD set, so we can get the other side of the story and compare the pros and cons... I'm sure some people probably really liked her vids & I'm curious to hear why after reading all this.

 

Kang

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Thanks for the review. I've been curious about this one myself. Does anyone know if Jeremie's DVD is still available and, if so, where? I know Kraken used to carry it, but I'm having trouble locating it now.

 

I'd highly recommend Laszlo's Hot Lead DVDs. I got a lot out of those.

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Hot Lead is also an amazing video, I learned lots of good stuff from it, although I abhor wet blending, so alot of the more advanced technique was lost on me...just personal taste...Laszlo does an amazing job of explaining everything from the most basic technique to the very advanced in very clear terms though.

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Do the DVDs have a big advantage over searching the internet for advice?

 

That's an interesting question. Looking over all the DVDs I've seen, I will say that, even if you go to Jen Haley's site, you won't actually see her apply paint to mini. The Miniature Mentor DVD featuring Jen follows some of her thought processes and you get to see how a true master works her magic. How thin the paint is, how it's applied, little things like that. It seems that very few of the painters with Blogs or websites actually produce videos of themselves working. WIP stills are good for certain things, but the first time I saw paint applied so thin that it only left a sheen and dried behind the paint brush stroke, I could hear a bell go off in my head.

 

What I've seen on YouTube is OK, but I think the quality and length restrictions limit the videos to very specific explanations. A blessing if one is searching for a quickie tutorial or refresher, but a bit disappointing if one really wants some in-depth visuals or thought process. That being said, not all DVDs will go into excruciating details. Whom ever produces the thing has to make a call as to what is too much detail, and what can be glossed over as "general knowledge".

It's definitely a YMMV sort of thing...

 

Which is why I really appreciate reviews like what started this thread. Keep'em coming ::):

 

-AW

 

P.S. My suggestion is to explore all the resources at one's disposal. And don't limit yourselves to just Mini painting tutorials. Historicals, armor, plane, train, ship, general crafts, these all have something to offer our hobby. It may just need to be bent a touch to fit our needs...

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